North Dakota specifies where state’s medical marijuana dispensaries can open

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North Dakota has established eight regions for medical cannabis dispensaries in an effort to ensure qualifying patients have easy access to MMJ.

The regions center on the state’s largest cities – Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, Devils Lake, Jamestown, Williston and Dickinson.

However, the dispensaries that eventually are licensed can be located anywhere within a 50-mile radius of those cities.

It will be a few months before the state begins accepting formal applications from groups and businesses that want to open dispensaries.

The program likely won’t be up and running until late 2018 or early 2019.

Administrative rules covering such things as lab testing, security requirements and transportation regulations must first be approved by the state attorney general’s office and the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee.

The State Health Council, which advises North Dakota’s health department, voted Thursday to approve the rules, which could be fine-tuned as the MMJ program evolves.

After final approval of the rules, the health department will accept applications from manufacturing facilities, likely in late spring or early summer, before moving on to application periods for dispensaries and a testing lab.

The application period closed Monday for proposals for a tracking system to monitor the MMJ program.

– Associated Press